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HCM along with SAM

HappyLilSphynx

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Mar 8, 2014
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My little one was recently diagnosed with HCM and SAM (originally I was given a diagnosis of aortic stenosis, and found out that SAM is often mistaken by AS). Since the breeder I went to has never (20+ years) had this before, we were both surprised - but now a second cat with the same father is starting to show heart issues (in a cruel twist of fate, the father was an outcross whose genes were intended to strengthen the sphynx gene pool - but it looks like that is where the heart issues were introduced) :( The treatment for both HCM and AS are the same - so the actual diagnosis won't make much of a difference.

After 6 months of meds (atenolol and benazapril), my peanut's heart showed improvement; 7 months after that, all of the progress was gone and her heart looked worse than ever. She's asymptomatic (save for a slightly elevated respiratory rate). I've been told by 1 vet that it doesn't look like she has a long life expectancy, and then by another that he's seen cats at this stage live for a few years (he also added plavix to her medication mix to try to prevent a blood clot from forming). My sweet baby is only 2 (she'll turn 3 in June), and knowing that her little heart is "broken" breaks my heart. I was wondering if any of you have had a similar experience and how it went
 

Hairless Blessing

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I haven't dealt with HCM, but, I want you to know how sorry I am.
Other's here have dealt with it. Maybe they will chime in.
 

Catzzzmeow

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I am so sorry to hear you are dealing with this. There have been a few members here on Sphynxlair who are dealing with/managing heart issues, so hopefully they will join in this thread. I know it is easier said than done, but your baby knows nothing than the present. As you seek advice/treatment know your baby only looks for your love and care and that means the world to them.

Patti
 

Toa and Ross

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So sorry to hear your little girl is diagnosed with HCM and SAM. I don't have experienxe with it, so only want to say that I send a lot of possitive vibes for a long happy life for your girl.
 

HappyLilSphynx

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Thanks to both of you! I'm grateful that Safari is happy and asymptomatic - as I've told my vet, the only thing I want less than losing her is for her to suffer before I do. I do my best to make each day count!

The diagnosis surprised me - before selecting a cattery, I looked at the 4 in the general area (all are several hours away). I was hoping to train my little one to be a therapy cat, so I was drawn to a cattery that had several kitties successfully go through the program(s) to get certified. The cattery is the lady's hobby, and she has 1 litter at a time ... and all of her kitties are scanned annually for any cardiac issues (she has been working with sphynx cats for about 20 years and didn't have any issues until Safari came up with cardiac problems). In a cruel twist, it looks like the HCM gene may have been introduced in the outcross process (which was intended to strengthen the overall sphynx gene pool). Just recently another cat (with the same father kitty) was found to have cardiac issues.

While I hate the diagnosis, I have no regrets about having my girl - she's been with me through a rough time, and I couldn't have asked for a sweeter companion critter! I also remind myself that while her condition is a death sentence, if she had a different parentage I wouldn't have the same sweet, loving little cat!
 

HappyLilSphynx

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Thanks - I try to be as positive as I can about the situation; there's really nothing anyone could have done differently, and I know Safari has the meds and vet care she needs. I have my moments, but I also try to remind myself that I'll have lots of time to cry later - and that it's better to be happy with my little peanut while I can!
 

NinaGato

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I am sorry to hear of your girl's condition. I too had a cat with bad cardiac issues. He died at 7 months old 19 days. As I would not give up the short time with him I would not wish the experience on anyone else.
My advice to you is to enjoy every day as fully as you can. And really listen to her. She will tell you when she is ready to go.
My heart goes out to you and your girl.
 

Yoda mom

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@HappyLilSphynx , ((Hugs)) to you and your best friend sweet Safari.. So sorry to learn of her diagnosis-
You are part of the lair family- we are here for you..
She is in the best of love and care with you!
Be her best friend now and when she needs it most .. and like mentioned listen to her ..
No one is guaranteed tomorrow or has a crystal ball of "how much time" .. My baby had severe HCM and saddle thrombosis episodes .. We took one minute and hour at a time .. Each never taken for granted and treasured like no other... That magical bond ..
So live love and cuddle to the fullest! Stay Positive! Many here on the lair and people too have defied the odds of time-
Give extra head bumps n kisses from me
I hope to see more pics of your Safari! What a cutie!
 

HappyLilSphynx

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Thanks again! I try to make each day count - and as much as the diagnosis sucks, I'm grateful I took Safari for her annual checkup (she got all of her kitten shots, vetting, etc. and was fine since her heart muscle hadn't built up). I got a 2nd opinion before the cardiologist appointment (a lot of people didn't believe that she had an issue and that the vet made a mistake!); at the cardio appt, neither he nor the vet knew how Safari hadn't already gone into heart failure (much less remained asymptomatic). That was last January, and they didn't know if Safari would see her 2nd birthday; she'll be 3 next month.

I wouldn't trade my sweet little girl for the world - I hate what the end of HCM looks like, but that doesn't mean that the journey to that end can't be as wonderful as possible. The only thing I want less than losing her is for her to suffer unnecessarily before I lose her ... and when she does pass, she'll do so knowing what it means to be loved.

@Yoda mom - I saw your screen name and had to share my little Safari with her Yoda ears!
 

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